Nintendo, once the biggest ticket in the gaming industry (remember how impossible it was to get your hands on a Wii several years ago?), reported today its first net loss, more than $900 million – which was even worse than expected.
The reason for this? Nintendo believes that cell phone and tablet technology have devoured its gaming market. This isn’t a shocking realization by any means, but I find it amazing that Nintendo recognizes this failing, yet so far has done nothing about it.
So why is Nintendo unwilling to change?
As a father to avid cell phone and iPad “gamers” (to my annoyance, they never put their Angry Birds away while coming to visit), my children have shared their wish for really great Nintendo games to be made available on these platforms. Why hasn’t Nintendo done this? Think about it. Wouldn’t it be fantastic for them to play Super Mario Brothers on their iPhone? How about MarioKart on the iPad or Amazon Fire? This could be a bonus for everyone: gamers and manufacturers alike.
If Nintendo recognizes its failing, why is it still dragging its feet to make a change? Surely, the signs of this looming financial downfall were written on the walls around it. Is it that Nintendo is simply far too wrapped up in the cosmetics of its brand (its gaming systems) to recognize what portion of its brand customers are truly interested in? It’s the games, stupid!
Apple had a similar dilemma years ago. Its was a sheer unwillingness to work with other manufacturers — an uncompromising stance that was both admirable yet financially foolish. Ultimately, it was Apple working with AT&T that fully brought the iPhone to life and, by linking with Intel, its computing processing capabilities grew exponentially.
So Nintendo, please, wake up. Now is the time to embrace those brands around you who can help make you better. It would be heartbreaking to witness the greatest gaming brand of all time tell us that it is “game over.”